A Million Packing Lists

We are getting so close to returning overseas, it’s crazy!

It has been a LOOOOOONG wait.

We were originally slotted to return to the field last autumn. Then it was supposed to be sometime in February. Now were hoping that July will be our departure month. (Yep, this month!)

Covid-19 really threw a wrench in our plans last year (as we all know too well). But we have worked to make the most of our time, including Chris taking on more PhD classes, and having another kid!

But now it is so close we can taste it!

We’re starting to make ALL the packing lists. I (Courtney) have been working on clothing lists for me and the girls. Chris has been taking inventory of music equipment. I’ve got a TO DO list that includes getting on global health insurance, seeing family and friends, and getting all the newborn doctors appointments done. Chris’ TO DO list has him working on securing our visas, applying for language school, and temporary housing for when we land.

Luckily, I love a good list. It is reassuring and (dare I say?) fun.

Unluckily, air travel is still a bit of a lottery these days. Normally the day we purchase our tickets give us a defined point in time to look forward to. But right now, nothing is guaranteed. We are moving forward as best as we can. We are so ready and our hearts are so yearning to get on that plane! We’re so ready to be participating again to the work we are so passionate about. And despite the uncertainty, we are working to stay excited for the months to come and trust that they WILL come, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Someday all these lists will be worthwhile!

Sometimes the waiting is EXHAUSTING

We are still looking for financial partners! If you are interested in knowing more about us and the work we do, please email us at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com. We will welcome each and every question you have for us! And there is ZERO pressure to commit.

Or if you are inspired to give today, you can support us here: https://artistsforcommunity.givingfuel.com/teamtroutman

We also ask that you lift up the following:

  • A smooth visa process
  • Boarders remain open
  • Airline fight does not get cancelled
  • Patience and grace during this time

Four Passports

As of today we are officially a FOUR PASSPORT FAMILY!! HURRAY!!

Since the birth of Kiddo #2, this was our first big step towards returning to life overseas! We are thrilled! 😁

Next we will need to secure visas, then we’ll be able to buy tickets!! (There are loads more steps to being ready to return, but these are the major markers)

🎶And there was much rejoicing🎶

New Arrival and Preparation!

We are excited to share that Team Troutman has officially grown to include our second daughter, Alexandra!! I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since she greeted the world with her first breath! Life has been a whirlwind ever since, but we are so smitten with her!

Born May 7th

Again with this pregnancy we faced gestational diabetes and that sure made things trickier. And even though we had hoped to deliver our second child overseas, we are thankful for our awesome care team here in the States. We have some awesome doctors and nurses and we thank the Father for them!

Delivery was induced early, but otherwise smooth. Chris was happy to have the birth day scheduled again rather than having to rush to the hospital. Courtney was thankful to have given birth without need of an epidural (like last time) or cesarean delivery. And recovery has been MUCH smoother than last time, PTL! We are thankful for all of you who Lifted Up our smooth delivery and are filled with joy to have received the blessing of happy and healthy Mom and Baby!

Big sister loves the new baby, but is still adjusting to having a sibling. Chris and Courtney are still trying to figure out how to parent a toddler and a newborn at the same time. Suffice to say, life is a bit on the crazy side these days, but we have been able to be surrounded with family – what a blessing that has been!

Now that #2 is here, we are working on getting everything set up for returning to life overseas! Getting passports for the two kiddos (have you ever tried to get a passport picture of a 1 week old? – it’s a challenge!!), figuring out which visas are available in this continued season of Covid-19, contemplating what packing-up-life as a family will look like (we’ve only really MOVED as a couple before), and considering some housing options for when we arrive.

Our hope is to be boarding a plane sometime this summer and heading to a brand new country to start studying yet another language! Though if this last year has taught us anything it’s that we need to hold these plans loosely. We are ready and willing and very excited to return to service in the fields!

Please Lift Up:

-Our Health

-Visa/school/housing/childcare arrangements for arrival

-These months of saying Goodbye – it doesn’t get easier

-Wisdom for us as we begin the journey of parenting Third Culture Kids

-Finances — Because of this last year of quarantine and limited travel, raising support has been a huge challenge. Thankfully, Courtney has a remote job that will be able to provide for us this term, but it will limit her M work. We’d love for her to be able to return to full-time M work and motherhood.

If you or your Community would love for us to visit and share more details about this new Vision, feel free to contact us via email at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com .

If you’re interested in financially supporting us, you can find that information at https://artistsforcommunity.givingfuel.com/teamtroutman .

And if you’d like to join those who have committed to lifting up the Father’s work through us, you can find more information here: https://rhythmtheoffbeat.wordpress.com/our-prayer-calendar/ .

Merry Christmas – Gender Reveal!

We hope all of you have had a blessed Christmas celebration! Covid-19 has certainly made this celebratory season more challenging, but also made us become more creative and more appreciative of the time we have to spend with loved ones. We’ve had a great Christmas season and are still celebrating!

We also recently found out the gender of our Little-One-On-The-Way! Over Christmas we found a couple fun ways to let family know — one of which we recorded for you to enjoy as well! We can’t tell you how excited we are to welcome another life! We’re about halfway through the pregnancy now (19 weeks)!

In other news – we’re keeping our prep work moving forward. We’re SO thankful that vaccines have been developed and are now being distributed. We aren’t very high up on the list to get one, but we’re thankful that healthcare workers and teachers are! We’re so thankful for the work that they do — amazing work that changes lives on the daily!

We have a “next location” and are almost at a point we can announce! If you’re not on our newsletter mailing list and would like to be please let us know! You can connect with us via facebook or email us at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com

Blessings to all of you for this coming year! May 2021 be filled with all the joy, love, and peace it can muster!

New Addition

We’re so EXCITED to announce that we have got a bun in the oven!

Due May 2021!

Mommy and Baby are both doing well.

We don’t currently know the gender. When asked, Addi requested Olaf! (the snowman character from Frozen)

We’re so excited! We don’t know if we’ll be stateside or overseas at the time of delivery, but we are trusting the Father to take care of us either way.

Please pray for health during this time – last pregnancy Courtney develop gestational diabetes and high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia. The former is likely to happen again. There is a course of treatment that will hopefully help with the latter.

Ice Storm 2020

With as … interesting as 2020 has been- I guess we weren’t terribly surprised when an ice storm blew through Oklahoma IN OCTOBER!! Having had attended college in the area, both Chris and I had been through a number of winter storms and tornadoes and earthquakes here.

Currently we’re living in OKC with Chris’ folks. Thankfully, they haven’t kicked us out yet even though Covid travel restrictions have left us without a departure date. 😅

So the storms started coming in late Monday (10/26). We lost electricity last Tuesday (10/27). The ice was beautiful but destructive.

The morning after it first hit, I got up early to start work on my computer and for several HOURS I heard branches snapping outside. *crack… crack… crack*

The sheer weight of the collected ice, especially on trees whose leaves had yet to turn green (let alone fall off the tree) broke branches EVERYWHERE. Looking out the back door, the entire yard had a layer of branches! There was so much destruction throughout the city that it was very eerie looking.

The temperature stayed low for a day or two. We all stayed home and huddled around the fireplace. Chris’ folks, who had spent a number of years serving in Africa, were very familiar with power outages. They knew right away how to make sure we were all taken care of. Dad ran an inverter off the car so we could keep phones charges, keep the fridge cold, and use a few lights. Mom adapted immediately to cooking on the grill (despite the cold!). Really our (Chris and I) only meager contribution was a tiny camp stove that allowed us all to make coffee!

By the weekend things had started to warm up (PTL!) but we still had no power. We did get a generator though! That has been able to do much more heavy lifting – we almost feel like things are back to normal. (Except for there is still no oven/stove. No dishwasher. And no clothes dryer- air dry only. But hey, there’s TV and internet!)

I suppose you could say we got a quick crash course in field work for a week and a half! At the time this goes up we are still without power. Electric company has said we should have it by tomorrow. Hoping this will be true so I can get my bake on! (and take care of our mountain of laundry!)

All in all, I guess this is just another chapter to add to the 2020 Covid Diaries.

Moving Forward

blurry famIn this weird season of sequester and holding patterns – you would think it would be hard to move forward with plans for cross country moves and potential opportunities investigation — and you would be very right.

Time frames and the rattling of doors make things feel very up-in-the-air (well, more than usual.) We too have been watching and waiting for our next assignment. Our hearts are ready and despite the uncertainty in the coming months, we feel comfortable in our vigilant watching and listening for the next right step – which right now look a lot like zoom conversations and emails.

Thankfully, we are able to move forward in one respect – a sending organization! We’ve become partners with Artists for Community Transformation. They are already incredibly supportive of our vision and do so much to help us network and figure out the nuts and bolts of things!

And with them, we are now able to put up our new 🎊 donation page!! 🎊

As we prepare again to GO, we’ll be sure to keep you updated through further blog posts and newsletters! As always, feel free to write to us with any questions or comments! Thank you for loving us and for catching our Vision to serve globally! ❤

 

It’s Been A Minute

Greetings Friends!

Did you miss us? It’s been a while since we last posted on our blog. We took a full year off of ‘specialized’ social media updates while we went through transition. This was a healthy move for us, and we’re so thankful for all of your support and patience.

2019 was a lot of transition and searching for us. We’re still in that transition, but we’re starting to see more and more pieces fall into place. We’re excited to see how the Father has been working and continues to work.

This past year Chris got to take 3 international trips to do short-term work! Courtney and A got to tag along on the most recent one to Singapore! We cannot express how thankful we’ve been to be able to continue to travel and serve abroad!

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This past year Chris has been hitting the books. He started his PhD program in the fall of 2019 and has had the great opportunity to work as a graduate assistant with them. He’s been keeping SUPER busy and we’re so proud of him!

In our last blog post, Courtney was still job-hunting. Since then she’s had two different jobs, the latest of which allows her to work from home. This has made all of our lives a lot saner and we get to have more family time! This was truly an Answer from above!

We’ve been approved as candidates for a new sending group who has a focus on working through the arts. Next month we’ll go to training to (hopefully) become full “members”. We ask for you to lift us up as we talk with different teams we will possibly serve alongside. So far we’re not sure where in the world we’ll be going (but at least we’ve narrowed it down to a few continents😆). Please join us in Asking for a clear Call as we continue our investigations.

This past weekend Courtney had an opportunity to take a basics of healthcare crash course so we can take care of ourselves wherever our Call may lead. From birthing babies to giving injections- she had so much fun and learned so much!

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Our little girl spends about half of her weeks in preschool these days. She is full of love and enjoys saying “hi” to every person she comes across. Truly, she is the one teaching us how to do this relational work!

Here Comes 2019

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. Many have asked us what our plans are moving forward. We too have been wondering what will be next for us.

_MG_9418 (3)Well, first thing, in less than a week now we’ll have an adorable one-year-old on our hands! We can’t believe how fast this first year of parenthood has gone! It’s been such fun watching her grow and develop this year!

Well, be taking on a new base – Dallas. Chris is gearing up to start a PhD program by doing some pre-reqs in Dallas, which will be the occasion that takes us there. Courtney’s job hunting for a place that will hire her with her new Nurse Aide certification. How long will we be in Dallas? There’s  no clear answer for that. Chris’s program can done distance, so we are still free to follow the Father’s calling to wherever that may be.

bty

We ask for you to lift us up in the following ways:

-For continued patience during this time of ‘limbo’

-For the transition to Dallas: finding new community, figuring out jobs/childcare

-For calling/vision/wisdom for where we can continue to be a part of Kingdom work

-For Courtney’s job hunt, that just the right fit would find her quickly

Wrapping Things Up

A few weeks ago(when the weather was warmer), we took a trip to Zaisan- a local monument that sits perched on top of a foothill. You reach the top by climbing a concrete stair path — 291 steps to the top. And there at the peak, you can look out and see the whole city. It is a great place for meditation and inspiration.Image may contain: 8 people

bty

Before we began our climb, I had decided I wanted to do something I’ve never done there before. I wanted to make that climb a climb of thankfulness.

We began our climb, and with each step I took I muttered a “thank you” under my breath and meditated on the goodness we’ve experienced in this place over the past years…

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I thought about our students, I thought about our friends. About conversations with them and opportunities we had to be a part of the Good Work in their lives.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I thought about our travels to the countryside, of the amazing people we met there and the beautiful countryside we saw. How we had met people in the mountains and the deserts and the valleys.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I thought about our language teachers who helped us as we struggled to learn the language, who gave encouragement even when we knew we were talking like toddlers, who shared so much of their life and energy with us.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I thought of different physicians we’d seen both and times of sickness and times of joy (i.e. pregnancy). Of doctor visits, tests, and treatments. Of seeing the first sonogram of our baby, of the day we found out we were having a girl!

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I thought about the music projects Chris has gotten to be a part of and how beautiful it was to see him in the midst of his passion and given-purpose. I thought about the kids that I’d gotten to play with, teach, and love.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

As I reached the summit, it amazed me how many things came to mind (many more than I can list here)–amazing opportunities we could have never dreamed up. I looked over this city that we have been blessed to live in these past few years and was overwhelmed with gratitude.

Mongolia has had its challenges, for sure. But we have seen so many amazing things happen here. We have seen the Father moving. We have watched lives change. And we are so thankful for the chance we have had to be apart of that.

Cute Couple

Now, however, we are wrapping things up. We have been asked to leave the field for an extended period of time we’ll discuss at a later time. (Check for a coming newsletter.) We’ll be moving back to the States in the beginning of November.

We are going to miss this part of the world SO much. So much of our hearts are tied to these places and these people. We know, of course, the Good Work will continue, but we will miss being a part of the hands in the field. We have loved it and hope that someday we will have the opportunity to rejoin these workers.

As you know, November is coming quickly, and we don’t have very firm details yet on what we will be doing stateside–a position that is stressful but a somewhat familiar stress for us. We ask that you all lift up our near future in the States, that the Father would show us some new work we can be a part of. And also that you lift up our last month as we pack, say goodbye to friends, and make the journey back across the pond.

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She’ll always be our “Mongolian” baby

As always, feel free to drop us a line or ask us questions by writing to us at troutmanrhythm@gmail.com.